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Underage Drinking and the Adolescent Brain

We all know the immediate effects of drinking alcohol at any age: impaired coordination, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, lowered inhibitions, memory problems – the list goes on and on. Too much to drink can result in a painful next few days at best, and at worst, may end up in a life-threatening trip to the hospital.

Of course, there are a few upswings – suddenly, talking to that attractive guy or girl in the corner may not seem like such a big deal.

The concerns about consuming alcohol, however, do not end at hangovers or even chronic alcoholism. Depending on the drinker’s age, regular or heavy alcohol abuse can pose a risk of huge neurological complications later on in life.

Study after study has confirmed the fact: the earlier a person starts drinking, the more likely it is that dependence upon the substance will become essentially “hard-wired” into that person’s brain development. Scientists have shown that the human brain has several spurts of growth during which it is more vulnerable to the consequences of substance abuse.

One of these windows is around puberty. When an individual begins consuming alcohol between the ages of 13 to 17, his or her chances of becoming chemically dependent on alcohol skyrockets.

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Minors and adults alike can suffer serious health consequences as a result of chronic alcohol abuse. However, sometimes just one night out can spell disaster if you are involved in a DUI-related accident or arrest. For more information on how to fight these serious charges, contact Matthew Marin, the experienced Rhode Island DUI lawyer, at 401-287-4384 today.